SIMFEROPOL, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. A decision on gambling zones in Crimea is due before May 1, Crimea’s acting head Sergei Aksenov said on Friday.
“We shall make a decision before May 1 on how it (the gambling business) will be operating,” he said. “We shall not have casinos and gambling zones all over Crimea and instead they will be located in one place.”
The intended gambling zone is also planned to include recreational areas as well as modern facilities for business conferences.
Earlier, Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev said that the special economic zone in Crimea may be formed on the basis of the principles that were used to form such a zone in Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad region. “We have a base - a special economic zone in Kaliningrad, with certain nuances,” he said. “We want to minimize federal taxes, to reduce them practically to zero. But here we have a conflict of laws, so there should be an exemption.”
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, adopted declarations of independence on March 11. They held a referendum on March 16, in which 96.77 % of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
The gambling business in Ukraine had been banned on July 1, 2009. Until that time Crimea had been known as one of the centers of the gambling industry boasting 283 gambling houses on the peninsula.
In September 2011, a bill was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament that proposed to legalize casinos in Crimea, but the lawmakers had never got down to considering it.